Cats try out new tactics

Thursday, May 30
Geelong Advertiser

GEELONG will focus on the positives as players attempt to lift out of a four-game losing rut against Melbourne on Saturday.

Skipper Ben Graham said working as a team and doing group activities would hopefully boost confidence and turn around Geelong's current run of poor form.

Avoiding a fifth consecutive loss had not been raised as a motivation.

``The five game thing hasn't been mentioned at all through the week,'' he said.

``We don't like losing one game so we certainly don't want to lose five in a row, but we don't need to be told that losing five games is unacceptable.

``We will be doing everything in our power to get over Melbourne.''

Among the Cats mid-week activities was a trip to Melbourne on Tuesday night, where players partook in team bonding activities.

``We got out of Geelong yesterday, we went to Melbourne and we got together as a group and as a team,'' Graham said.

``We had dinner at the motel and then we went off in groups and did different things. Some went and had coffee, some went down Chapel Street, some went to the casino, some saw a movie, we just did a whole range of things that we can't do in Geelong.

``It was good fun and we just spent time together, which is important.''

Graham hinted unconventional tactics could be applied on the field too if the Cats failed to fire against Melbourne.

Last week, against the Western Bulldogs, coach Mark Thompson gave regular full back Matthew Scarlett a brief run in attack where he had an immediate impact, booting two goals.

And the Cats captain said it was handy having such support.

``It's another move Bomber's got up his sleeve, so from that point of view it's pleasing,'' Graham said of Scarlett's move to attack.

``Versatility is a big part of the game these days and Matty did really well when he was thrown down forward last week.

``He's played most of his footy in defence - I suppose like I did - so it's probably good for him too, and if he can kick a few goals at the same time it's great for the team.''

But Graham said if Geelong was to lift against the Demons, it would need to start with him.

He found some form against the Bulldogs with a couple of stirring tackles, but Graham said he was still a long way from where he hoped to be.

``I'm not expecting to set the house on fire, but I know if we've only got 22 players just contributing it's not quite enough, so I've got to find something extra to improve where I'm at,'' he said.

``I've never stopped trying my hardest to hold the ball in the forward line, to beat my opponent and to do my best for Geelong.

``That's what I'll do again on Saturday and hopefully things will pick up for me and for the team.''